Analysis: How China’s Got Us Over a Barrel on Rare Earths, | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Analysis: How China’s Got Us Over a Barrel on Rare Earths,

Since late September, the Japanese have accused China of cutting off exports of rare earths. Prices worldwide are reportedly soaring...And now it seems China will halt some of those mineral exports to the United States as well.

Here’s why you should care: By the 21st century, rare earths had become essential to global commerce. Take a look around you. There are probably plenty of things that depend on them.

Rare earths are used in permanent magnets, which are integral to modern electronics and green technologies. They’re in iPhones, earbuds, cell phones and hard drives. Their use is not exactly new: they were in cathode tube televisions, although they are now in flat screens too. They’re in electric automobile windows, MRI machines, and compact fluorescent bulbs. A Toyota Prius contains at least two pounds of them. Each advanced wind turbine has roughly 660 pounds of the soft silvery metal neodymium.

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